The Void

Yves Klein-Leap Into The Void 1960-Photograph by Harry Shunk & Jean Kender

As I have noted in my previous posts (Fire & Dreams of Desire 48 (Blue) on the French artist Yves Klein his entire body of work is devoted to the concept of the void. As well as the beautiful blue monochromes (inspired by the pellucid light of his birthplace, the Cote d’Azur) painted in his own patented colour International Klein Blue which conveys the pregnant emptiness of both eternity and infinity, and the Fire paintings saturated with esoteric doctrine, Klein also organised an exhibition in 1958 called Le Vide (The Void) that consisted of a empty gallery room painted entirely in white, and the photo-montage Leap Into The Void.

Leap Into the Void was an artistic action executed in 1960 involving Klein jumping from a building onto a tarpaulin held by his friends at ground level. He commissioned the photographers Harry Shunk and Jean Kender to create the seamless photo-montage that gives the impression of flight and a wilful, ecstatic abandon. To further the illusion of flight  Klein distributed a fake news-sheet to Parisian newsstands commemorating the event of the Man in Space! The Painter of Space Throws Himself into the Void!.

In contrast to Klein’s monochromatic mystical void, the Argentinian director Gaspar Noe, one of the most notable figures of the New French Extremity, fills the void with sound and fury in his crazed Freudian psycho-drama Enter The Void. A bold, brilliant and often infuriating, psychedelic exploration of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the void for Noe is a state of mind, death and the return to the source. Below is the frenetic opening credits which Noe condensed as he considered that the film was already too long. Please note that it contains flashing images throughout.

72 thoughts on “The Void

  1. That was a crazy long opening sequence, no wonder he condensed it. Welcome back. This is a great return. The photo is fantastic, totally seamless. The all white exhibition: there is a gallery in the Modern Art wing in the Philadelphia Museum of Art with nothing but stark white canvases, some of them are textures, others just completely blank. It’s rather unsettling but compelling at the same time. Hope you’re well rested and relaxed!

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    1. I had to include the flashing images warning, it is quite seizure inducing. I has been quite influential in music videos. The film is quite a trip as well. I visited the museum and the Klein were the highlight, although he sometimes seems like the worst kind of contemporary artist, his work is always pure, simple and very intense. He was also a genuine innovator. I am well rested thank you very much I had a lovely holiday and glad you liked the return. I was quite poetic in some of my sentences.

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      1. …conveys the pregnant emptiness of both eternity and infinity, and the Fire paintings saturated with esoteric doctrine… gorgeous Cake.

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      2. You know me with my eternal recurrences and loops and odds connections. Did you like the curveball of including a video of a credit sequence? I think it fits in Cakeland though

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      3. I did and it does. It’s got it’s own artistry: the frenetic pace, the varying colors and fonts, the text sizes changing, etc.

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      4. I will. I’ve been indulging in off the wall films recently. Watched Fritz Lang’s Destiny the other night

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    1. Thank you I saw it on holiday which featured a lot of Yves Klein (as he was born there)who is one of my favourites. The blue monochromes are my favourite however the images on a computer screen never do them justice.

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    1. I love Klein, if you click on the links there are another couple of articles on his work. I am honoured… give it time…it took me ages to get any followers, about 4 months of so. Nice work


      1. I was in private setting for ages, I was like…seriously there must be someone in the world who wants to here my opinion on art…it was slow for a while but it picks up.


      2. I will have to watch out of you… even members of my family think this is me (it does look uncannily like me). It is Magritte-esque, it is a photograph by Cecil Beaton of the English writer Henry Green, a pseudonym for Henry Yorke, an aristocrat and industrialist. One of my favourite writers, he liked to be enigmatic.


      3. Orrrrrh, that’s cool, although I wasn’t entirely right. So, now I’ve got a lot to look up, thank you very much. Could it be that magritte used this very fotograph for his paintings? It looks right the same in some of them. So try watch out…

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      4. Not at all =D. I guess it is easy to find on your site?
        Jup. That’s the only disadvantage with exhibitions (autocorrection wanted to make exhumation out of it) apart from them being badly planned… Other people! Real problem.

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